ICTR hands over fourth case to Rwanda
The case file of Genocide fugitive Ladislas Ntaganzwa has been transferred to Rwanda from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the fourth genocide case to be handed over to Kigali.
The ICTR Prosecutor, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, handed over the latest case file and all the relevant evidence against the fugitive to Rwanda’s Deputy Prosecutor, Alphonse Hitiyaremye, in a less publicised event in Kigali late last week.
The transfer of Ntaganzwa’s file to Rwanda was approved by the ICTR Referral Chamber earlier this month.
Ntaganzwa, a former mayor of Nyakizu commune in Butare prefecture, is accused of genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and extermination, murder, and rape as crimes against humanity.
“This great achievement by the office of the Prosecutor has brought legal changes and will go in the history of the Tribunal as precedent for other national jurisdictions to refer to when taking similar decisions to extradite Genocide fugitives,” said Hitiyaremye.
He added: “Rwanda has already issued 138 indictments and arrest warrants against Genocide fugitives living in 23 countries and, with this precedence set by the ICTR; we expect extradition decisions in our favour in the near future.”
Jallow expressed his confidence in Rwanda’s judiciary, saying he had no doubts the suspects would receive fair trial.
“The successful referral of this and other cases to Rwanda is an important step in the Tribunal’s completion strategy and helps ensure that those responsible for the 1994 Genocide do not escape with impunity,” said Jallow in a statement issued after the event.
He called on all UN member States to support Rwanda’s efforts to apprehend Genocide fugitives, mainly those whose case files have been transferred to Kigali.
Ntaganzwa is among the nine fugitives on ICTR’s wanted list.
The three cases already transferred to Rwanda by the UN-backed tribunal include Jean Uwinkindi, a former Pentecostal pastor who was extradicted to Rwanda in April.
Other files transferred to Rwanda are those of the former criminal investigation department inspector, Fulgence Kayishema, and another former Bourgmestre, Charles Sikubwabo – these, too, are still on the run.
The transfer of cases to national jurisdictions is part of the ICTR’s plan to wind up its lower court cases by June and appeals by 2014.